This is part six in the interview series I have done with Jaguar Bennett, Publicity and Marketing Director for Linden Publishing.
Jaguar: Small local publicity can actually help you get major publicity. Reporters are constantly looking at other news outlets. They are looking for what stories get reported. It is something that every little notice that you get is something you can be putting into your overall media kit, your media room on your personal blog. That let's people know what other people think about you, and how they reacted to you. Everything is local in a certain way. The mass market has kind of dissolved into all these individual niche markets.
Each one of those individual niche markets is one person at a time. It is great to get on Oprah. Well Oprah does not have her show right now, but something of that scale. If you can get on the front page of the New York Times or something like that, it would be awesome, or on the Today's Show. Those kinds of media hits are few and far between. There are more writers trying to get them. But it comes back to working in that niche with people who are already interested in what you are doing.
If you set your heart on a huge publicity hit it's going to take a great deal of time and that first step is never going to happen unless you are willing to take small steps to go inbetween.
If you are working in the realm of being a motorcycle journalist. And you write articles for the motorcycle magazine and you have a motorcycle blog and you are out with major rides making appearances and you are known for that. It is getting that kind of publicity in the motoring press that is going to do so much more for reaching your individual readers.
The fact is no matter what kind of book you write nowadays, by and large everyone is not going to be interested in it. A few people are going to be interested in it. It is more effective and a lot less frustrating and much more to the point to try to reach those people who are specifically interested in what you are doing than trying to shout at the world.
It's a lot healthier for your sanity and for the clarity of your messages. You can talk to one person or to a small group of people and communicate more effectively than you could if you were trying to shout at the whole country.
Also once you build up a reputation, let's say as a regional writer, or as a writer on a particular topic, that is, and if you can get to prominence within your field that is a good thrust to where you can get to nationwide publicity.
For example, it is one of the most interesting things about what has happened to fiction these days. It is how much genre fiction is now so powerful. Even people who are considered very literary writers, like Johnathan Franzen or Michael Trufant are working in terms of genre fiction.
You know that is where people find a lot of passion for that kind of writing. You take a writer like Stephen King who is now a household name. Most of his career, when he was starting out, Stephen King was writing in a terribly obscure field. Horror fiction was not considered a big category when he was starting out.
But by being a master of that particular kind of writing, people start noticing. For example when the higher levels of media start noticing: "Wow people are really into horror books, and who is the leading horror writer? Well some people say it's that guy named King."
And that is where you can make the break from being a writer in a niche, to someone who is generally well known, but you have to do all those intervening steps.
You know when you are starting out, every kind of publicity, every kind of attention, that one person who wants to stay after a conference and talk with you a little bit further, is worth talking to and worth cultivating. And it's always little steps that can build up to something bigger.
Part 7: How to Start Small Scale Local Publicity?
Part 8: Author's Platform Interview Final Thoughts
The Author's Guide to Building an Online Platform: Leveraging the Internet to Sell More Books